Wake Forest University

Health and Wellbeing - Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

Health and Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing

13 Days of Celebrating the Earth: April 18

April 18th, 2011

Spend some time today relaxing, reflecting and restoring your senses on campus. Periodic breaks will help you work smarter, not harder. Various groups will be out and about on campus to support you in taking time out for you.

To Hi (meditation) Garden

When: April 18, 4:00pm

Where: the corner of Wingate and Faculty Drives

Take a break from the constant stresses of college work and life. Meet at the To Hi garden to learn about the diverse growth of native plants in this little campus Shangri-La. Experts will be on hand to discuss the importance of native plants and foods in First Peoples cultural traditions.

Take a Time Out and enjoy the many opportunities right here on campus

When: All Day

Where: on campus

Experience throwing the Frisbee on the quad; visit the Museum of Anthropology, Reynolda House, Hanes Gallery, or StArt Gallery; get your hands dirty working outside in the Campus Garden; take a walk through running trails or down the path to Reynolda Village.

Action: Take a break. Working 24/7 is not a sustainable pathway. Enjoy some time with friends, check in with a family member, get outside, visit a campus museum or gallery, meditate, or engage in a religious or spiritual ritual. With your senses restored, you will be able to work smarter, not harder.

13 Days of Celebrating the Earth: April 17

April 16th, 2011

How good is the food in public school lunch rooms?

It might be worse than you thought.

Lunch Line, documentary screening and reception with the filmmaker

When: 7:00pm-10:00pm

Where: Pugh Auditorium; Shorty’s Restaurant

Campus Kitchen’s Wake Up to Food Week is sponsoring a screening of the acclaimed documentary Lunch Line about the U.S. School Lunch Program.

“Lunch Line follows six kids from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago as they set out to fix school lunch — and end up at the White House. Their unlikely journey parallels the dramatic transformation of school lunch from a patchwork of local anti-hunger efforts to a robust national feeding program. The film tracks the behind-the-scenes details of school lunch and childhood hunger from key moments in the 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s to the present, revealing political twists, surprising alliances, and more common ground than people might realize.” according to the Lunch Line web site.

A Q&A with filmmaker, Michael Graziano, and a reception will follow in Shorty’s Restaurant.

Action: Commit to educating yourself about what’s going on in the world by viewing documentaries, reading the news, and taking local action about something that you feel passionately about.

Faces of Sustainability: Rebecca Matteo

March 23rd, 2011

Photo by De'Noia Woods, Photography Intern

As a triathlete, Lecturer of Sociology Rebecca Matteo fuelled her body with sports drinks and power bars and pushed herself to her physical limits. Then a life-changing biking accident forced the vivacious and engaging woman to rethink everything about what it meant to be athletic, healthy and happy.

“I was forced to sit and think. It was time I would not have made for myself,” Matteo said. “I had that kind of light bulb moment when I realized that what I was doing to be healthy wasn’t what was best for me as a whole person.”

The person that emerged from that accident has taken an academic passion for health care service delivery, combined it with an ever-evolving personal commitment to sustainability (and a lot of yoga) and turned it into a wildly popular course in the university’s sociology department.

“The Politics of Food” seminar course examines a wide range of food-centered topics from an academic perspective and integrates a high level of hands-on experience. Students can participate in a number of activities – from volunteering in a community garden to helping plan Food Week with Campus Kitchen – so long as they engage the local sustainable foods movement.“The active learning is really what I think lights up the students,” Matteo said. “They are living the choices.”

The jump from a public health dissertation to a seminar on sustainable food systems was an easy one for Matteo. “We are not dying from infection anymore – we are dying from long term diseases and there has been a shift from reactive to preventative medicine as a result,” she explained. “When you talk about prevention, it’s about lifestyle. We have to make choices, including food choices, to keep ourselves healthy.”

Though her course provides an overwhelming amount of information about food issues ranging from global and national to local scales, the take-away message is a personal one. “Sustainability is not an all-or-nothing proposition. You don’t have to be radical to be sustainable,” she said. “Every choice makes a difference.”

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern

Come to the Table Piedmont promotes hunger relief through faith and community

March 4th, 2011

Community members from across the Piedmont joined university faculty, staff, and students to explore the role communities of faith play in relieving hunger and supporting local farms, during the Piedmont North Carolina Come to the Table Conference on February 18-19 in Benson University Center.

Friday workshop topics ranged from Food Production 101, to Interfaith Perspectives on Food, andFederal and State Farm Policy.  Saturday’s agenda was filled by a number of field trips to community gardens, farms, and businesses that support the agricultural economy of the region.

Conference participants included faith organizations, interfaith groups, local non-profits, small farm owners, community members, and campus organizations from around the Triad.

Two of these campus organizations – Campus Kitchen and Wake Saturdays – joined community partner El Buen Pastor, a local “for social profit agency” that benefits the Latino community of Winston-Salem, in a panel discussion titled “Campus Kitchen: Students and Agencies Combating Hunger.”

The panel provided an excellent forum for community groups to learn about the positive actions students and others have taken to fight hunger in neighborhoods just outside the university bubble.

Shelley Graves-Sizemore, director of the university’s branch of Campus Kitchen began the forum with a brief overview of the programs sponsored by Campus Kitchen including the university’s innovative partnership with The Fresh Market.

Graves-Sizemore describes the Campus Kitchen philosophy as “focusing on using waste food as a resource.” Owing to this ethos, university volunteers – mostly students – managed to save 16,000 pounds of food from landfills last year. This food came from kitchens on the Reynolda campus and various businesses in Winston-Salem, including the Reynolda Fresh Food Company and The Fresh Market. The raw ingredients and prepared un-served meals are imaginatively recombined into complete nutritional meals for community members.

Senior Amy Liang who serves as a “bridge” between Campus Kitchen and Wake Saturdays, reflected at length on the importance of community in her service work. Though both of her main service projects are food-centered – Wake Saturdays distributes lunch to over 100 homeless men and women each week – she said “it is more about the relationships than the food.”

To this end, Liang was integral in creating a homelessness awareness campaign and art exhibition on campus last fall. All artwork and poetry was created by homeless men and women with whom Liang works through Wake Saturdays. “Homelessness is not Faceless,” allowed Liang to share the personal relationships she had developed with the wider university community to bring the reality and humanity of hunger home.

Senior Josh DeWitt, an Office of Sustainability intern, and leader of Wake Saturdays, echoed Liang’s sentiments about the importance of relationships. After describing the details of Wake Saturdays, DeWitt explained the importance of his experience. “The closer we are to someone or to someplace, the more we care and the harder we work to make things better,” he said.

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern

‘Tapped’ screening sparks emotional discussion

February 8th, 2011

Photo by De'Noia Woods, Photography Intern

Pugh Auditorium was abuzz with discussion after the closing credits of Tapped on January 25, 2011. The film screening, which officially began the university’s “Choose to Reuse” campaign, drew a diverse audience from university departments and the wider Winston-Salem community.

Tapped explores the bottled water industry and brings into question the marketing campaign that resulted in the sale of nearly 8.5 billion single serving bottles of water in the US in 2009.

The film focuses on the fundamental human right to clean drinking water.. The filmmakers explore several key issues, including the bottled water industry’s extraction, export and resale of ground water and the bottling and distribution of municipal tap water at a 2000 percent mark-up. According to the film over 40% of bottled water comes from municipal sources.

The film also brings to light the negative health effects caused by the production of PET(E) plastics used in single-use plastic bottles.

Response to the screening was as diverse as the audience members themselves. A few criticized the university’s decision to screen the film given what they perceived to be an overt anti-corporation message. Others left the screening alarmed by what they had learned and ready to make changes.. Either way, audience members left with more information upon which to make consumer choices.

The “Choose to Reuse” campaign is designed to help students make informed decisions and to consider the power they have as consumers. The first 50 audience members at the Tapped screening received free reusable water bottles, courtesy of Great Outdoor Provision Company. More activities and programs designed to educate students about the issues surrounding consumer choices are planned for the rest of the semester. Many activities will provide further opportunities to win free re-usable bottles.

“There are so many documentaries and television shows focusing on environmental problems that are just too big to tackle, it can seem overwhelming,” senior Frannie Speer, the Office of Sustainability Choose to Reuse intern, said. “Choosing a reusable water bottle is an easy, doable first-step in reducing our personal waste footprint.”

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern

Read more about the Choose to Reuse Campaign:

WFU News Service

Her Campus

Winston-Salem Chronicle

For more information, check out these informative links:

The Story of Stuff: A short film about the issues surrounding bottled water consumption

ARAMARK implements new ‘green’ cleaning program

November 12th, 2010

Photo by De'Noia Woods, Photography Intern

The university’s dining services provider, ARAMARK, has made numerous strides toward sustainability by reducing waste in the major campus dining facilities. In keeping with this commitment, campus dining began using a new cleaning method in the Reynolda Fresh Food Company that eliminates 99.9 percent of germs while cutting chemical usage by up to 65 percent.

Students, faculty and staff may have seen the space-age looking cleaning tools currently used by ARAMARK employees to clean tables in the Pit between uses. These glowing clean-machines, called “Ionators,” zap germs with a slight electric charge and lift dirt and bacteria from surfaces using ionized tap water. This means that no chemicals are needed to clean and disinfect tables in the Fresh Food Company.

Another new green-cleaning program employed by campus dining is the use of high efficiency floor cleaning machines from Tennant. The T3 Walk Behind Floor Scrubber is equipped with Foam-Activated Scrubbing Technology designed to reduce detergent usage by 90 percent and water usage by 70 percent, compared with traditional scrubbing methods.

By dramatically cutting chemical usage in dining facilities, employees are exposed to lower quantities of fewer chemicals, resulting in a healthier workplace. By using ionators instead of traditional cleaning chemicals on eating surfaces in the Fresh Food Company, diners also enjoy a safer eating environment.

Matt Lugo, director of marketing for ARAMARK at Wake Forest, heads up the company’s Green Thread Program at the university. This local offering of the national corporate sustainability program, “allows us to strategically align ourselves with the goals of our client and the university,” according to Lugo.

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern

Environmental Justice Event set for 11/11/10

November 8th, 2010

UPDATE:

Parking for off-campus visitors is available in Lot G.

To address the complex issues surrounding environmental racism, Wake Forest University will hold “My Neighborhood is Killing Me: Environmental Racism and a Call to Justice,” featuring Bennett College President Julianne Malveaux and Emmy-award winning journalist Simran Sethi.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Carswell Hall’s Annenberg Forum.

“Many of us are fortunate to live in safe, healthy neighborhoods, but others of us are downwind of factories, downstream of toxic dumping, or in areas without access to fresh and healthy foods,” says Alta Mauro, director of multicultural affairs. “Across the United States, racial minorities and the economically disenfranchised suffer disproportionally from the ill effects of assaults on the environment, and they often lack access to the power to protect their communities.”

Malveaux is a committed activist and civic leader. Her contributions to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and their economic impacts, are shaping public opinion in 21st-century America. An economist, she has held positions in women’s, civil rights, and policy organizations, and serves on the boards of the Economic Policy Institute, The Recreation Wish List Committee of Washington, D.C., and the Liberian Education Trust. Malveaux will specifically address racial issues and challenges to creating safe, healthy communities.

Sethi, described as an “environmental messenger” by Vanity Fair magazine, is the founding host/writer of Sundance Channel’s environmental programming “The Green” and the creator of the Sundance online series “The Good Fight,” highlighting environmental justice efforts and grassroots activism. She has contributed numerous segments to “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Today Show,” CNBC, the History Channel and other television programs. She is an associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

“Environmental degradation knows no boundaries. An unhealthy environment affects us all,” says Director of Sustainability Dedee DeLongpré Johnston. “We hope this event will raise awareness and encourage people from all communities to take action and address these complex issues.”

Wake Forest Provost Jill Tiefenthaler will moderate the discussion. The event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Sustainability.

For more information, contact Alta Mauro at mauroat@wfu.edu, 336.758.5227 or Dedee DeLongpré Johnston at johnstdm@wfu.edu, 336.758.3482

OS1 Cleaning System Improves Air Quality in Wake Forest Facilities

February 2nd, 2010

hands_on_globeOperating Systems 1 (OS1) is a standardized approach to cleaning management in housekeeping — one that results in a safer, healthier work environment with improved air quality. By centralizing the cleaning system, upfront costs are quickly offset by long-term savings in efficiency and effective cleaning. This cleaning system is safer for both occupants and custodians, as it replaces harmful cleaning products with Green Seal certified alternatives.

The Callaway Center (including Manchester Hall and Kirby Hall) served as the initial data-gathering site for this pilot program. Air quality testing began in this building on September 9th, and was compared to later air quality testing on October 26th, after six weeks of cleaning under the new system. There was a dramatic improvement in air quality, with more than a fifty percent reduction in TVOCs- total volatile organic compounds. By the summer of 2011, the entire campus is expected to be converted to OS1 cleaning, with Greene Hall already under transition and monitoring this month. By installing OS1, Wake Forest University reflects its concern for improving human health and well-being, an integral part of campus and community sustainability.